To be most effective, a good mentor should have:
- Substantial experience that is relevant to the needs and goals of the mentored pilot.
- Good “bedside manner” that is friendly, affirming, non-judgmental, and respectful.
- Strong communication skills that include attentive listening and asking good questions.
- Clear understanding of the mentor’s role, which is to support and guide the mentored pilot’s efforts to apply knowledge and skills to real situations.
- Clear understanding of the pilot’s goals, to include knowledge of how the aircraft is to be used (i.e., recreational flying for fun, personal transportation for business or pleasure, professional operation).
- Personal connection with the mentored pilot.
- Mutual understanding of responsibilities. Both individuals must have a clear understanding of responsibilities – and liabilities – in the mentoring relationship. In general, the mentored pilot should always be PIC.